And I'll provide you with the go-to places.
Some of Rubens' contemporaries specialised in creating specific scenes. Take Frans Snijders, for example; he specialised in hunting and market scenes, and animals. Snijders paints with such realism that his scenes are almost tangible and his compositions perfectly show the tragic nature that is typical of the Baroque. It is this talent that means Snijders was sought out by painters to help complete their masterpieces. Snijders painted at least 60 hunting scenes and animals for Rubens.
When it comes to brewing beer, no one does it better than the Belgians. Our brewers use the best ingredients (such as hops and malt), but it's mainly their craftsmanship that puts them on the map. And that's why UNESCO has given the Belgian beer culture a well deserved place on the world heritage list.
It wasn't until towards the end of his life that Peter Paul Rubens started painting Flemish landscapes. He no longer had to prove himself and could afford more artistic freedom. He simply painted what he liked. The artist's deep love for the Flemish landscape clearly shows in these late Rubens paintings.
In the Rubens House you can admire the kitchen of the 17th century. Back then most cooking was done in the fireplace. With the help of a hearth chain, the cook could hang pots higher or lower. Sausages and fish would be hung to smoke on the mantelpiece. Fortunately, things are easier now.
Since its completion in 1432, millions of visitors from all over the world have travelled to Ghent to admire The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, also known as the Ghent Altarpiece, painted by the brothers Jan and Hubert Van Eyck. Gone missing, absconded in the course of several wars, threatened by fire, dismantled, copied, smuggled, censored, attacked by inconoclasts, hidden, ransomed, rescued and stolen time and again... no work of art has been menaced and desired as much as the Mystic Lamb.
Saint Bavo’s Cathedral
The Ghent Altarpiece may belong to Ghent, but Jan van Eyck was also a resident of Bruges. He was a court painter in Bruges under the Burgundian dukes and gave the city two incredible masterpieces. That is why Bruges is also shining the spotlight on the great Jan van Eyck.
Jan van Eyck once lived in Ghent, where his magnum opus still adorns the St. Bavo's Cathedral. In 2021, Ghent is honouring him with 'OMG! Van Eyck was here', a captivating city festival with visual art, theatre, design, fashion and much more.
St. Bavo’s Cathedral in Ghent will briefly close its doors from 8 until 25 March 2021. During this time, the restored panels of the Ghent Altarpiece will be reinstalled with extreme precision. The masterpiece will finally be reassembled in the place for which the van Eyck brothers originally created it, marking the end of the altarpiece’s ‘peregrinations’. On the occasion of the official reopening on 25 March 2021, visitors can trace the masterpiece’s journey in ‘The Ghent Altarpiece. The return of its divine colours’.
Meet my friends.
|Painter:||Peter Paul Rubens|
Well hello there! It's me, Bacchus, well-respected god of wine and debauchery. I'm the son of Zeus and the Theban Queen Semele, and one of the most important and most respected gods in the Graeco-Roman pantheon. Some people know me as Dionysius but you may call me Bacchus. I'm all about simply enjoying life. Let me be your guide through culinary Flanders. And I know everything about the excellent music festivals in Flanders.
Bacchanalia were a favourite theme in Rubens's work, although I was rarely the subject of his paintings. This is perhaps why Rubens painted me with such devotion. Traditionally, other painters show me as a slim youth with a handsome face. Rubens showed me as a corpulent reveller. Seated on my thorne, a wine-barrel. As you might notice, one of my legs is resting on a tiger, it all makes me look both repulsive and majestic. Rubens conceived me as "the apotheosis of earth's fruitfulness and the beauty of man and his natural instincts". Well, I'm charmed. In terms of painting technique, this must be one of the pearls of the Hermitage collection.